Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit

Harbor Freight Tools, maker of the Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit, has been selling all kinds of hand, automotive and engine tools for over 30 years.

Family owned and providing over 25 million customers with a variety of items from simple hammers and wrenches to tow motor tires, Harbor Freight specializes in offering solar panel kits for people who want to use solar energy as a way of reducing their energy bills or as a method of promoting non-reliance on traditional energy sources.

The Basics of Solar Power

Two types of solar power are currently used--photovoltaic and solar thermal. The solar thermal method utilized heat from the sun to directly generate energy while the photovoltaic process employs silicon-based "cells" that absorb sunlight to energize electrons present in these solar cells.

A simple example of solar thermal power is the solar oven, a device constructed in a way so that heat is captured and retained internally in order to cook food. However the Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit uses the photovoltaic process to provide energy via a direct current (DC) which is then transformed into an alternating current (AC) as it passes through an inverter. A negligible amount of solar energy is lost during the conversion process but not enough to significantly affect the power of the 120-volt current provided by the majority of solar panels.

45 Watt Solar Panel Kit-- the Thunderbolt Magnum Solar Panel Kit by Harbor Freight

Features of this weatherproof solar power kit are:

  • Three, six, nine and 12-volt outlets for DC adapters
  • All mounting hardware included
  • Three 15-watt solar panels
  • Maximum voltage of 23.57

This particular Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit requires a 12-volt DC storage battery that is not included as well as a 300-watt power inverter. In addition, users can download a handy installation guide from Harbor Freight's website that supplies the following important information about how to establish and use the solar kit safely and efficiently:

  • The kit is not meant as a tie-in to a grid. Hire a licensed electrician if you want to implement a system integrated with a grid. Grid tie-ins that are incorrectly or haphazardly installed may cause voltage feedback, an occurrence that could electrocute utility workers.
  • Never stand on or apply pressure to solar panels.
  • Make sure there is enough space surrounding solar panels to allow enough ventilation
  • Increase the panel's angle by 10 degrees in winter; decrease angle by no more than 10 degrees in the summer

Maintenance should be done on panels once a month by inspecting and cleaning panels to keep them functioning optimally. To clean panels included in a Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit, use only a non-abrasive, mild cleaning solution and paper towels. Inspect them for any signs of weathering, loose hardware, cracked glass or corroded contacts that could compromise safely using the panels.

For Recharging a Bug Out Vehicle Battery

The 1.5-Watt Thunderbolt Magnum Solar Battery Charger manufactured by Harbor Freight is perfect to recharge any vehicle battery and mounts quickly to the dash for convenience. It comes with an amorphous crystal solar cell, battery terminal clamps and a cigarette lighter adaptor. If a disaster happens that causes you to take to the road to escape a dangerous urban setting or large-scale weather disaster, having one of these solar battery chargers ensures you are never stranded due to a dead battery.

A Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit can give you enough power to reduce energy bills and operate lights and appliances in your home. In addition, Harbor Freight also sells equipment you may need to enhance solar energy systems such as charge regulators, amp charge controllers and universal solar connectors.

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